Thursday, 22 March 2007

The Invisible Man

My head’s banging and I’m moaning like a whore on overtime. The light from the stark lamps is bouncing off the grey walls, penetrating the defensive cover of my eyelids and eating my brain, eating the fucker it is. I can hear the whispers of the bizzies in the room with me as well, big stage ones, think they’re clever the sad, bullied as kids, twats.

‘The stupid bastard only broke in with no gloves on and then set the alarm off.’

‘Daft get, how did he think he’d get away with it?’

‘He’s a fucking pisshead man, has been since his daughter got done in a few years back.’

‘Aye you can tell like, he smells like the Fed Brewery. Stinks man.’

He’s right; I smell like George Best’s first liver, you know you’re in a state when you’re aware of it yourself.

The drunk in the corner of the bar had been quiet for some time, maybe it was the amount of alcohol he had consumed that day, indeed that week, maybe for once he had nothing to say or maybe, just maybe, the entrance of the man who raped and murdered his daughter had something to do with it. On the very day his daughter would have celebrated her twenty first birthday her killer had entered his local and left her father dumb with rage and sadness. At first the eyes of every patron were upon him but they soon tired of this as he just slurred quietly to himself and seemed to not even notice the presence of the gangland royalty that had also entered the pub.

‘They reckon he’s been on a bender for a week, done the whole of the East End from Wallsend to Byker.’

‘What every pub?’

‘Every fucking boozer on every fucking street – anniversary of the daughters death see.’

‘Why did he try robbing the paper shop then? Drink money?’

‘Probably, who knows why a useless washed up old tramp like that would do anything. He wouldn’t have made a mistake like that back in the day, his nickname was the invisible man back then, the fucker was in and out of places all night long. A proper little moneymaker this lad was, certainly wouldn’t have bothered with a shop like this one. He was just asking to be banged up. They reckon he was falling all over in the Butchers Arms, shouting about how he had a big job on that night.’

The young gangster was noisily making merry with his friends and hangers on when the barman presented him with a whisky. Assuming it to be a gift from a sycophant he downed it greedily, the drugs in his system aiding his thirst, before announcing that, as promised, he was now going to the cash machine. Anyone sharp-eyed looking over at the old drunk in the corner at that point may have noticed him pocketing a small plastic bottle before necking his pint and staggering towards the side door.

‘What happened to him then?’

‘Like I say the daughter got done in. Officially never solved and case still open, unofficially, Tommy Kinghorn, you’ve heard of him right? Inadequate, spoiled, bisexual son of Billy ‘One Punch’ Kinghorn.’

‘Aye, we’ve all heard of the Kinghorns.’

‘Well he didn’t like the way she kept knocking him back and decided to take what he wanted, her permission or not. She was found in the woods with no knickers on and her tights stuffed in her mouth. Old Tadger there lost the plot, hit the drink hard when Kinghorn got away with it and of course there was no prospect of a minor league scrote like him doing anything about it. He could’ve destroyed the skinny little twat in a square go but wouldn’t have lasted five minutes once the old man and his muscle got hold of him. He just fell apart, the wife topped herself because of the grief and Kinghorn Junior walked away laughing.’

‘Tragic enough like but it doesn’t give him the right to go burgling shops.’

The scrap yard at the bottom of Shields Road had seen some action over the years but nothing ever quite like this. Any normal person would have been horrified at the sight of a prone and unconscious man, his face full of blood and broken bones, with the hilt of a rounders bat peeking out from his distended anus. It didn’t seem to bother the dishevelled looking gentleman though; the one that was walking jauntily away as though a great weight had been lifted from his shoulders.

I moan again, sick of listening to these bastards dissecting my life, sick of having to replay the shite in my head.

‘I’ve done nowt, let us gan you bastards.’

‘Come on Tadger you know the drill, you know you’ll get a bit of time for this one. You were recorded on CCTV in the Shields Road area of Byker at 21:10 and then picked up inside the property twenty minutes later you’re bang to rights mate, why don’t you just hold your hands up.’

I lift my arms in the air just to piss them off and say ‘like this’ then my head reminds me that I’ve been drinking for seven straight days. It’s banging like that piped trance shite they play in the trendy bars these days. What the fuck ever happened to jukeboxes anyway?

‘I cannit remember nowt man.’ I shout.

‘Look at his hands shaking, proper DT’s there.’

‘Fuck it let’s charge him. He’s bang to rights and he’s going to jail.’

The jaguar pulled up outside the pub and a greying, broad shouldered and powerfully built man emerged. He could have been a top business executive surrounded by aides and assistants were it not for the tattoos on his neck and scars on his face. The figure that approached him on his journey up the Road looked startled at his appearance, as if this was not in the rules for whichever game he might be playing, and immediately started stumbling and slurring. The big man turned, half recognised the face, and stared, trying to place him. The drunk stopped and seemed to think for a second before pulling a crowbar from his pocket. The minders were a little twitchy and headed for him en-masse but he stumbled across the road where they observed him jemmying the window of the paper shop and chuckled to themselves, just another small-timer. The big man dismissed the idiot and entered the bar to find his son.

I’ve been read my rights and formally charged; I have no alibi and can’t offer a defence. They’re right; I’ll get six months. As they’re processing me I’m shaking like a shitting dog and smell like a tramp that’s been slumming it. The looks I get as I’m led through the custody suite en-route to my cell are a blatant mix of pity and contempt. Then the place explodes into life as ten riot suited pigs come steaming through, charvas and conmen alike are smashed to the side as the robocops head to their van.

“What’s going on?”

The head of the steroid squad flashes my copper a glare for being too nosey but one of his goons can’t help himself.

“Jimmy McGilligan was found in the scrapyard under Byker Bridge this morning. He had his boxers in his mouth and a rounders bat stuck up his arse. Looks like he’s been Rohypnol’d, apparently he was on the lash down Shields Road and wandered off from his pals.”

“Fuck me his brother’ll go mental.”

“Aye, he had to be sedated when he was told, he was screaming about it being Kinghorn again. With them being the type of family they are then it’s definitely all gonna kick off and I tell you what, Billy one punch as his dad or not, I wouldn’t like to be in young Tommy’s shoes.’

As they close the cell door and forget about me while they continue speculating on the bloodshed to follow I stop shaking. Sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war and six months is nothing. By the time I’ve served three, Kinghorn’ll have died a horrible death, half the gangsters in this town will have wiped each other out and my family will have finally been avenged.

Aye, when the time comes then I’ll be fuckin drinking to that.

1 comment:

Gook said...

Quality Stuff mate - it's nice to read something that's not about single women who drink too wine and moan about their ex boyfriends. Keep em coming!